West Berkshire Lifestyle Sep - Oct 2021

minervapublications

As the Autumn nights draw in our thoughts turn to delicious cosseting food, home comforts and setting affairs in order. Plus we interview baker Richard Bertinet and garden designer Adam Frost.

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Contents

A Note

from the EDITOR

14

Delicious

A Culinary Journey through

Northern Ireland

comfort food recipes

“There is something so special

in the early leaves drifting

from the trees–as if we are all

to be allowed a chance to peel,

to refresh, to start again.”

– Ruth Ahmed

There is something so special about

this time of year - it has a grounding

effect which forces us to consider

the passage of time and the tangible

changes around us. As the hues

of the trees shape our landscape,

we settle down into the embrace

of those cooler, darker evenings

- a sense of quietude before the

inevitable Christmas rush begins.

Garden Designer

Adam Frost

23

We hope this edition makes a good

companion to a cosy evening or

a peaceful morning with a cuppa.

We’ve filled it with interviews with

some titans of their fields - firstly, west

country expert baker (via France!)

Richard Bertinet and Chelsea seventime

gold medal winning garden

designer Adam Frost.

Our interview with

Richard Bertinet

11

Editor Katie Thomson

e katie.thomson@minervapublications.co.uk

Publisher Sally Thomson

Pre-Press Manager Kate Norris

Contributors Rebecca Rose, Peter Thomson, Sue Cooke, Matthew Biggs

Angela Cave and Pete Lawrence. Front cover courtesy of Richard Bertinet

Key Account Manager Angela Cave

e angela.cave@minervapublications.co.uk

d/l 01225 984498

twitter: @WBLifestyle

30

Planning for a

happy retirement

MINERVA PUBLICATIONS HQ

Paxcroft Farm, Hilperton

Trowbridge BA14 6JB

t 01225 984 550

visit our website www.minervamagazines.co.uk

Disclaimer: The publishers shall not be held liable for any loss occasioned by failure of an

advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions and

misprints. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the

publishers. The opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the publishers.

These lovely chats fall alongside

some delicious recipes and some

inspiration for the home and garden

- plus some advice on getting those

finances in order for retirement -

it’s never too early to start thinking

about it, nor to late to make an

assessment of where you are.

It wouldn’t be right to have an

edition without one of our most

popular pages - the competitions!

You can enter all the ones listed on

the page, plus some web-exclusives

at minervamagazines.co.uk - you

can also opt into being the first to

hear about new giveaways when

they are launched.

We are looking forward to seeing

you again in November, where we

will be unapologetically thrusting

you into the Christmas swing. Don’t

say I didn’t warn you! Until then,

take care and enjoy this issue.

Katie

Katie

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 3


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4 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


COMPETITION

Time

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Find the competition and enter on that post,

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T&C’s apply and no cash alternatives available. Winners chosen at

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Ramekins & Wine offer

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An enriching life like no other

Which school should my child attend?

Choosing the right educational

environment for your child is one of

the most important decisions you’ll

ever have to make as a parent. But if

you’re looking for a boarding school

for your child, how do you choose

the right one? Robin Fletcher, CEO

of the Boarding Schools’ Association

(BSA), explains.

‘How do I choose the right boarding school

for my child?’ That’s a question we’re asked

more often than any other at BSA. And

when you consider the UK boarding market

is one of the largest in the world, with more

than 450 schools of all sizes and types, in

all sorts of different locations, there isn’t a

straightforward answer.

But having such a wide range of choice can

really work to your advantage. If you know

exactly what to look for in a prospective

boarding school, your child will enjoy a

first-class education and gain invaluable life

skills, boost their confidence, become more

independent, and have the best possible

preparation for adult life.

The first key piece of advice I would always

offer when choosing a school is that it must

be a joint decision between you and your

child: they have to be happy with the final

choice.

As I’ve mentioned, one thing there isn’t a

shortage of in the UK boarding sector is

choice. You need to think about the best

location for your child: will they be best

suited to a large school attended by several

hundred students, or a smaller school

with fewer pupils? Would a school in the

middle of a city be better for them, or would

they prefer somewhere more rural? Would

they be best suited to a single sex or coeducational

school? Also, will full boarding

be the best option for them? Schools can

offer full, weekly or flexi-boarding, so you’ll

need to decide which works best for you

and your child. And is an academic school

right for them, or one that focuses perhaps

more on sport, music or more vocational

subjects?

Once you’ve considered all those factors

and you’ve got a shortlist of schools you’re

interested in, I’d always strongly encourage

you to visit those schools in person. This

is the best way to tell if it’s right for your

child or not, as it will be clear very quickly

whether they are comfortable there.

Making that final choice of the right

boarding school for your child can be a

lengthy process, but taking the time to get

your decision absolutely right is crucial.

Boarding will not suit every child or family

- but for the right child, in the right school,

it can offer an enriching life experience like

no other.

For further information about the Boarding

Schools’ Association, or to search for a

boarding school, please visit www.boarding.

org.uk. In 2020, BSA also teamed up with

Bulldog Publishing to launch Schoolplaces.

org, a dedicated live information resource

for schools, parents and education agents.

For more information, please visit www.

schoolplaces.org.

Image: Courtesy of Highfield and

Brookham Schools

6 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


“We really feel part of something special.

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T: 01635 204701 E: registrar@downehouse.net


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CAPS OFF!

At Jubilee Day Nursery’s

sister setting, Jubilee Gems

Nursery’s class of 2021 have

graduated!

The event was set in the nursery’s 60 acres of beautiful private

land and it was a gloriously sunny day. Every child looked

incredibly smart in their graduation gowns and hats when they

went up to collect their personalised framed graduation picture

from our nursery manager Sian. Cheers from their family and

friends could be heard all across Padworth!

ADVERTISING FEATURE

Gems then continued the days celebrations with a Sports Day,

having all the traditional races. There was a relay race, egg and

spoon, and obstacle course, however, with it being such a hot

day, the fastest race must have been to the box of ice creams!

The staff at Jubilee Gems wish them all the best at their new

schools and hope they have had lots of magical childhood

memories which they will cherish.

Jubilee Gems is a term-time nursery, located in the heart of the

countryside in rural West Berkshire, offering a flexible range

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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 9


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HIS

SUSTAINABLE

BREAD

HOUSING

DEVELOPMENT IN

GLOUCESTERSHIRE REACHES

KEY MILESTONE

& BUTTER

Richard Bertinet is well-loved and well-known for being the

UK’s baking ‘godfather’. His books about baking and his breadmaking

courses alike have delighted audiences for many years.

Sally Thomson talks to Richard to discuss books, baking and

BBC Maestro, where you can catch him offering the ultimate

online bread-making course...

HOW ARE YOU ON THIS GLORIOUS

DAY?

Making croissants with this weather! It’s

a bit hot in the kitchen but it’s nice to be

open again so all is good.

YOU ARE DOING WONDERFULLY

WELL AT THE MOMENT APART

FROM THE FACT WE HAVE ALL

BEEN THROUGH THIS RATHER

INTERESTING YEAR THINGS SEEM TO

BE GOOD WITH YOU.

We opened in April and we have just tried

to push everything we could this year and

last year. It’s very busy.

SO, PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO COME TO

YOUR CLASS NOW?

Yes, we reopened in April.

SO, THESE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS

HAVEN’T CHANGED YOUR PLANS?

No, we are Covid compliant and can still

have the same number of people.

In Bath 40% of the customers come

from the rest of the World so Japan, The

States and Australia. Obviously, they

cannot come to Bath at the moment so

we have a massive backlog of people

wanting to come when they can

travel*.

YOU NEED TO BE CLONED SO THAT

THERE IS ANOTHER ONE OF YOU

AND YOU CAN KEEP UP!

That’s true but there is only one of me

I’m afraid.

WHEN YOU FIRST CAME INTO BATH

IN 2005 DID YOU EXPECT YOUR

CAREER TO TAKE OFF AS IT DID?

I knew the concept we had was good and

if it worked out, we would have success.

When I first moved to Bath a lot of local

businesses gave us 6 months to survive

but that made me more determined to

make it.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 11


On his baking classes

for children: “It’s good

fun and nice to see

them smile when they

try something that they

haven’t done before. I

think it’s a shame that

so many schools don’t

use cooking and baking

anymore.”

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR

COOKERY SCHOOL - IT’S GOING

FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BY

THE SOUNDS OF IT?

Well, the school has been going since

2005 and since then we have won a lot

of awards, we then sold the bakery and a

lot of things have happened in 15 years.

The school is so busy it’s a worldwide

attraction which means we bring a lot of

people to Bath. We won the South West

Tourism Award two years ago due to the

number of people that we attract to Bath.

We have a few guest chefs coming in as

well, but the core classes are with me

learning about bread making, as well as

what I write about in my books.

YOU HAVE SO MANY ACCOLADES

AND EVERYBODY ENJOYS WHAT YOU

HAVE BEEN DOING.

We pride ourselves on the services we

give our customers and also the way I

teach is quite unique - I’m very hands on.

Our school is quite small so it means that

I can spend time with everybody.

I SEE THAT YOU OFFER CLASSES FOR

CHILDREN, HOW DO YOU FIND THAT?

Teaching children was always very

important to us and we also work with a

lot of local schools in the area and teach

some classes plus talk to the children.

It’s good fun and nice to see them smile

when they try something that they haven’t

done before. I think it’s a shame that so

many schools don’t use cooking and

baking anymore.

I SEE THAT YOU ALSO WORK WITH

PING COOMBES.

Yes, Ping does classes for me. She

teaches Malaysian cooking plus stuff

from my book.

YOU HAVE PRODUCED 6 BOOKS SO

FAR. HAVE YOU GOT ANYMORE IN

THE PIPELINE OR DO YOU NOT HAVE

ENOUGH TIME?

I’ve got a couple of ideas but it’s getting

the time to do it and I like to write a book

for the right purpose not just for the sake

of it so I need to get the time and wait

until things get back to normal.

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL?

Until we get all our backlog of people

who couldn’t attend last year’s classes

hopefully then we will be back on an

even keel but not yet I’m afraid. We are

open and running and there are some

businesses that can’t do that so in a way

we are one of the lucky ones.

I HEAR THAT YOU WILL BE GETTING

INVOLVED WITH BBC MAESTRO.

Yes, it’s been amazing. We have just

finished editing. I absolutely loved it! It’s

a challenge to do live broadcasts, it’s

recipe lead and different from how I teach

in my classes, but it was well done. The

team were amazing.

YOU HAVE BEEN ON OTHER

COOKERY SHOWS SO DID YOU FIND

THAT THIS WAS A STEP UP?

Yes, I’ve been on Saturday Kitchen and

on James Martin’s show so it’s a different

buzz being filmed live and you have to be

mindful of what you do and say.

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WILL BE

SPECIALISING IN?

It’s specifically about bread and things I

like to do at home. It goes from making

brioche, sourdough to bagels, all that

kind of stuff and things to give people

the confidence to bake at home and feel

that they learn something. It’s going to be

good. The production team was amazing,

and I can’t wait for it to launch.

YOU ARE FROM BRITTANY HAVE

YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO GO BACK

RECENTLY?

We went to France last year, Provence.

We have a house down there and

managed to visit just before lockdown.

*At the time of the interview there was

uncertainty regarding travel to the city

of Bath.

BBC Maestro with Richard Bertinet

is available now at bbcmaestro.com.

The course costs £80 for 23 episodes

including written class notes for

each one. An additional bonus festive

episode is expected to launch later in

the year exclusively to subscribers.

thebertinetkitchen.com

12 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


CHOCOLATE, ORANGE

& PISTACHIO LOAF

INGREDIENTS

150g good quality dark chocolate chips

75g roughly chopped pistachios

Zest of 2 oranges

50g mixed peel

1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)

125g unsalted butter straight from the

fridge

125g full fat milk

3 medium eggs

500g strong white bread flour (plus extra

for dusting)

15g fresh yeast

45g caster sugar

10g fine sea salt

FOR THE GLAZE

2 eggs

Pinch fine sea salt

METHOD

Mix the chocolate chips, nuts zest

and mixed peel in a bowl and stir in

the Cointreau if you are using it. Place

the cold butter between 2 sheets of

greaseproof and bash it with a rolling pin

to soften it and break it up into smaller

pieces (without warming it up).

Put the milk and eggs into the bowl of a

food mixer and then add the flour. Break

up the yeast and add to one side of the

bowl. Add the sugar and salt on the

other side of the bowl.

Mix on a slow speed for 4 minutes.

Increase the speed to medium for another

2 minutes then add the butter piece by

piece until it is all incorporated. Continue

mixing on medium speed for 10-12

minutes until the dough comes away from

the sides of the bowl.

Stop the mixer. Add the chocolate and

pistachio mixture to the bowl and mix

for no longer than 30-40 seconds on

the slowest speed – you don’t want the

chocolate and nuts to become mushy.

Lightly flour your worksurface and turn

the dough out onto the work surface.

Form the dough into a ball and then place

into a lightly floured bowl. Cover and

rest for about 45 minutes until just under

double in size.

Lightly flour the surface again, turn out

the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces

of about 110g each. Form each piece

into a ball and then press gently into

cake or loaf tins until they are full. In the

picture I have used tiny tins that only take

one ball but if you use a larger one you

will have a finished loaf or two that will be

perfect to tear and share. Whether you

have one or two will depend on the size

of your tins. Cover and leave to prove

for about 1 hour until just under double

in size.

While the dough is proving, pre-heat the

oven to 190°C and beat the eggs and

pinch of salt for the glaze. Brush the top

of each loaf with the egg glaze and use a

pair of scissors to snip into the dough for

decoration.

Place the tins on a baking tray and

put into the pre-heated oven. Turn the

temperature down to 180°C and bake for

15-20 minutes until golden.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 13


COMFORT

When the darker nights set in, you

just want some go-to comfort food

recipes - and here, Waitrose has

delivered! Find more recipes at

www.waitrose.com

Calling

CHICKEN SHAWARMA

FLATBREADS WITH

YOGURT

Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

8 British chicken thigh fillets

3 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Shawarma

Paste

½ red onion, finely sliced

2 lemons, juice of 1, 1 cut into wedges

1½ tsp Cooks’ Ingredients Sumac

½ large cucumber

250g Yeo Valley Organic Greek Style

Natural Yogurt

1 small clove garlic, finely grated

15 mint leaves, finely shredded, plus extra

to garnish

4 Waitrose & Partners Hand-Stretched

Flatbreads

50g pomegranate seeds

1-2 handfuls wild rocket

METHOD

Slash each chicken thigh a few times,

concentrating on the thicker parts of the

fillet. Season, then rub all over with the

shawarma paste. Cover and chill for 20

minutes (up to 2 hours). Meanwhile, mix

the onion, lemon juice and sumac with a

good pinch of salt. Set aside until ready

to serve.

To make the sauce, coarsely grate the

cucumber and put in a sieve. Toss with a

pinch of salt and leave over a bowl for 10

minutes to drain, then gently press with a

wooden spoon to extract as much liquid

as possible. Tip into a bowl and stir in the

yogurt, garlic and mint.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Cook

the chicken for 5-8 minutes on each side

(depending on the fillets’ size) until the

juices run clear and there is no pink meat,

then set aside for 2 minutes. Clean the

pan then use it to griddle the flatbreads

for 30 seconds on each side. Arrange

them on plates and top with the chicken,

pickled onion, pomegranate, rocket and

the cucumber and yogurt sauce, finishing

with the extra mint leaves and lemon

wedges for squeezing over.

COOK’S TIP

This recipe also works well with lamb or

pork steaks instead of chicken (adjust

cooking times accordingly).

COTTAGE PIE WITH

SWEET POTATO

Prep time: 20 minutes plus standing

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil

500g British beef mince

1 onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 Oxo Beef stock cube

1 tbsp tomato purée

1½ tbsp plain flour

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

3 thyme sprigs

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

1 tbsp unsalted butter

METHOD

Heat ½ tbsp oil in a large sauté pan or

casserole dish over a high heat. Add

the beef and fry, breaking it up, for 4-5

minutes, until browned. Remove from the

pan, add the remaining 1⁄2 tbsp oil, lower

the heat to medium and fry the onion,

celery and carrot with a pinch of salt for

10 minutes, until softened. Meanwhile,

dissolve the beef stock cube in 500ml

just-boiled water.

Return the beef to the pan, add the

tomato purée and cook for 1 minute, then

stir in the flour and fry for 1 minute more.

Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and

2 thyme sprigs and simmer for 25-30

minutes, until the beef is coated in a thick

gravy. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes

as thinly as you can and put in a bowl.

Cover with just-boiled water from the

kettle; set aside for 10 minutes. Drain and

use kitchen paper to pat dry thoroughly,

then lay out on more kitchen paper to

finish drying.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.

Melt the butter. Tip the beef and gravy

into a medium ovenproof dish. Toss the

14 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


potatoes with the butter and leaves from

the remaining thyme sprig. Season and

arrange in circles over the beef. Bake for

30 minutes until bubbling hot and the

potatoes are cooked through. Stand for

10 minutes before serving.

COOK’S TIP

Scatter grated cheddar over the potatoes

halfway through baking to give the pie a

nice cheesy crust.

CHEWY BROWN SUGAR

COOKIES

Prep time: 15 minutes plus chilling

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 12 - 14

INGREDIENTS

200g unsalted butter, roughly chopped

300g Billington’s Dark Brown Soft Natural

Unrefined Cane Sugar

300g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp fine salt

1 large British Blacktail Free Range Egg

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

METHOD

Put the butter and sugar in a large

saucepan and set over a medium heat.

Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until

the butter has melted and the sugar has

dissolved. Set aside off the heat for 5

minutes to cool. Meanwhile, mix the flour,

baking powder, bicarbonate of soda,

cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

With a wooden spoon, beat the egg

and vanilla into the butter-sugar mix,

then beat in the dry ingredients until

completely combined. Transfer to a bowl,

cover with a plate and chill for at least 2

hours (up to 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4;

line 2 large baking trays with parchment.

Leave the cookie dough out of the fridge

for 15 minutes to warm up a little. Roll

into 12-14 balls (about 65-70g each)

and space out well on the baking trays

(the cookies spread quite a lot during

cooking, so bake in more than 2 batches

if needed). Bake for about 15 minutes,

turning the trays halfway if needed, until

deep golden and cracked on top. Cool

for 5 minutes on the trays, then transfer

to a wire rack to cool completely.

COOK’S TIP

Ovens can vary in temperature, so after

about 12 minutes, keep an eye on your

cookies. Once they look set and golden

at the edges and start to crack on top,

they’re ready.

CHERRY & ALMOND

BRIOCHE FRENCH

TOAST

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

425g can black cherries in light syrup

3 tsp Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Cane Icing

Sugar, plus extra for dusting

1 medium British Blacktail Free Range

Egg

250ml whole milk

½ tsp almond extract

8 slices sliced brioche loaf

2 tbsp unsalted butter

150g pot vanilla yogurt

1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

METHOD

Put a sieve over a small saucepan and

drain the cherries. Set the cherries aside

and simmer the juices for 5 minutes until

reduced. Add 1 tsp icing sugar and the

drained cherries to the saucepan and

simmer for another 5 minutes, until the

cherries are coated in a glossy syrup.

Meanwhile, set your largest frying pan

over a medium-highheat. In a large,

shallow dish, whisk the egg, milk,

almondextract and remaining 2 tsp

icing sugar. Add 4 brioche slices to the

mixture, soaking on each side for about

45 seconds until they’ve absorbed plenty

of the mixture but aren’t too soggy. Add

1 tbsp butter to the frying pan and, when

foaming, fry the brioche for 4 minutes

on each side until golden and puffed up.

Arrange on plates while you prepare the

remaining slices in the same way, frying in

the remaining 1 tbsp butter.

Serve 2 slices of brioche per person. Top

with a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and the

warm cherries and syrup (reheat briefly

if necessary). Scatter with the toasted

almonds and dust with a little icing sugar

to serve.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 15


VOLKSWAGEN

ID.4

Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke test drives

the electric new Volkswagen ID.4...

The pandemic has resulted in the average

driver reducing their mileage by 42% over

the last year according to a survey by

Kwik Fit, automotive servicing and repair

company. My daughter is one such driver,

stopping her 70 miles each way commute

and working from home and enjoying it

so much she is hoping this will continue.

Clocking up fewer miles could also

encourage owners to change to a

different power source to drive their car.

Volkswagen has seen an increase in

pure electric car sales. JATO Dynamic’s

European data shows that VW has

become the second largest EV seller,

bringing a stream of capable, net carbonneutral

electric family cars to market.

I road tested the ID.4 this week, which

is extremely attractive. The family SUV

can be personalised with contrasting

black roof as a no cost option, or an

eye-catching silver style pack, which

adds silver to the roof trim, roof rails and

rear pillars. It is also possible to select

white interior styling elements and a white

steering wheel, at no cost. The ID.4 Pro

Performance has a towing capacity of

up to 1,000 kg and a folding tow bar is

an option.

This compact SUV has just been

awarded World Car of the Year 2021.

Judges praised the environmentally

friendliness of no direct emissions as

well as the innovative features. I like

the optional head-up display which can

project important information onto the

windscreen such as turn arrows of the

navigation system. The driver sees this

information as a three-dimensional,

staggered image at an apparent distance

of three to ten metres in front of the

vehicle. When Adaptive Cruise Control

or the optional Travel Assist is active, the

vehicle in front of the ID.4 is highlighted

with a luminous marking in the head-up

display from a certain speed to be able to

keep the required distance.

The other very attractive feature is that

the vehicle is always up to date receiving

regular updates and new functions “over

the air”. Volkswagen will be the first

provider in the volume segment to offer

this from the Summer.

There is a range of different variants

which currently number eight. The entry

level model City sets the pace for the

equipment offered across the electric

SUV’s range, with standard-fit features

including LED headlights and tail lights,

10-colour ambient lighting throughout

the car’s interior and a 10-inch Discover

Navigation Pro infotainment system.

Driver assistance systems include Front

Assist, Lane Assist and Adaptive Cruise

Control in addition to convenienceboosting

assistance features like traffic

sign recognition, a rain sensor and

parking sensors front and rear.

About to launch is the first fully electric

high-performance model, the ID.4 GTX

representing a new sub-brand of sporty

all-electric models that introduce allwheel

drive to the ID. range.

Safety won the ID.4 the top score of five

stars in the Euro NCAP (European New

Car Assessment Programme) safety test,

for the protection of adult occupants,

children and vulnerable road users, as

well as in terms of assistance systems.

The barriers to EV ownership are quickly

eroding with more mileage capability,

more infrastructure and faster charging

times. The ID.4 ‘Pure’ and ‘Pure

Performance’ specifications can both add

up to 137 miles of range from a 100 kW

rapid charger in 30 minutes.

And I enjoyed my week’s driving in the

Volkswagen ID.4 so much, I actually

increased the number of miles I usually

drive!

Facts at a Glance

Model: VW ID.4 fully electric City Pure

Price on the road: £32,150

Power and torque: 52kWh, 148 PS

Range: 213 miles (WLTP combined)

Performance: 0-62mph in 10.9

seconds and on to a top speed of 99

mph

16 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


The all-electric ID. family

Book a test drive today

Our range of incredible all-electric cars feature

everything you love about Volkswagen. Enjoy long

ranges, fast charging and revolutionary design alongside

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carbon footprint as you drive.

Whether it’s the fun and dynamic performance of the

ID.3 or the power and flexibility of the ID.4 SUV, the

future is ready and waiting.

Search ‘Marshall Volkswagen Newbury’

Marshall Volkswagen Newbury

The Triangle, Newbury Motor Park,

Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 7HT

Telephone: 01635 592049 marshall.co.uk/volkswagen

ID.3 electric range, up to 336 miles with 77kWh battery; Electricity consumption, kWh / 100km (combined): 16.3 - 15.5; C02 emissions (combined), g/km: 0; Efficiency class: A+. ID.4 electric range. up to 310 miles with 77kWh battery.

Electricity consumption kWh/100km (combined) 18.0; C02 emissions (combined),g/km: 0; Efficiency class A+. Figures shown are for comparability purposes and were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. Mains electricity

required for charging. Only compare electric range figures with vehicles tested to same technical procedures. Figures may not reflect real life driving results.


THE VIEW FROM THE BOUNDARY

We catch up with local estate agents to find out a little more

about the most tumultuous year any of us can remember...

The last 18 months have caused many of us

to re assess how we live and perhaps more

pertinently to this feature, where we live.

Quality of life, surroundings, the need to work

from home and perhaps the desire to spend

at least some of the week still doing so, all

of these factors have changed the housing

market, locally and nationally. We thought

that our key local estate agents would have a

view on this – and we were right...

LIZ McLEAN,

SAVILLS NEWBURY

As we enter the traditional

summer holiday period,

the sun is shining across

West Berkshire’s housing

market.

Buyers continue to seek

homes that offer more

space as a result of Covid-19

and ensuing lockdowns. This,

together with a lack of available

stock, has generally resulted in a

strong seller’s market.

With well-priced properties often selling almost as quickly as

they become available, the result has been competitive bidding,

strong premiums and, ultimately, price growth. This has been

further compounded by a reluctance among some people to

bring their property to the market, not only while the risks of

Covid-19 were high, but also because of the little choice in what

they can buy.

The search for more inside and outside space continues to

support village and rural areas, where annual price growth was

8.7% during the second quarter of 2021. This is supporting a

strong market throughout Berkshire.

Furthermore, and according to our recent survey of buyers and

sellers, the commitment to moving home over the coming six

and 12 months remains firm. Whilst this tells us that demand

will remain strong, it also means more stock is expected to

come to the market as social distancing measures are lifted.

As stock constraints gradually ease, the rate of price growth is

expected to soften, particularly given the tapering of the stamp

duty holiday in England that is expected to take some of the

urgency out of the market, though the prime markets will be less

affected. The realignment of buyer and seller expectations will

therefore be vital in order to maintain market momentum.

You can call Liz and the team on 016 3527 7700.

Liz McLean is Head of Residential Sales at Savills Newbury

EDWARD TAYLOR, FINE & COUNTRY,

MARLBOROUGH AND DEVIZES

It’s certainly been a frenzied property market of late.

Unprecedented levels of demand continue to outstrip

availability, and the resultant upwards pressure on

pricing has left some vendors rubbing their hands

with glee, only to find they are faced with the issue

of now buying their new property in the same hugely

competitive market. Zoopla reported that in the first

half of 2021 available homes for sale was down 24%,

whilst demand rose 26%. They also report the average

time to sell (SSTC) of just 22 days, nearly half the 42

days it took in May 2019. The Nationwide House

Price Index reported a 13.4% annual increase in prices

in June 2021, due at least in part to the stamp duty

holiday up to £500,000.

For those of us fortunate to live in Wiltshire, we all

know the many reasons buyers will be attracted to

move here from elsewhere in the UK. More flexible

working patterns have meant that many can now

relocate from London and the South East, putting

further strain on housing supply.

The next 6 months? It’s impossible to say precisely,

but if demand remains so strong and supply of new

properties to the market continues to be constricted,

then it is almost inevitable that prices will continue to

rise well into 2022 and beyond.

To book an up to date market

appraisal of your property

call Fine & Country

Marlborough and

Devizes on 01672

511 211 or email

edward.taylor@

fineandcountry.com

Edward Taylor

is an Associate

at Fine & Country

Marlborough and

Devizes.

18 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


Grade II* Moated

Property in Beautiful

Landscaped Gardens

Swallowfield, Reading

M4 (Junction 11): 3 miles, Reading: 6.5 miles

A wonderful family house in a private moated

setting with enchanting gardens and grounds.

Reception hall/sitting room, drawing room,

dining room, family room, kitchen/breakfast

room, cloakroom, cellar, principal bedroom

with ensuite bathroom, 5 further bedrooms,

gym, swimming pool, tennis court, outbuildings

with integral triple garage.

About 3.1 Acres I Guide £2.65 million

Liz McLean

Head of Residential

Savills Newbury

01635 277700

newbury@savills.com

savills

savills.co.uk

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New shop now open!

Unit 1, 23 Salisbury Road, Amesbury, SP4 7AW

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Thatcham: Unit 9, Wyvale Garden

Centre, Bath Road, Thatcham,

RG18 3AN • Tel : 01635 897665

Devizes: l & 2 Windsor Drive, Devizes,

SNlO 2TH • Tel: 01380 887943

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 19


Get Ready to Burn

this autumn

When the nights draw in, there’s nothing like

cosying up in front of a woodburner but knowing

what fuel to burn is key to creating this ambience

as well as ensuring the fire burns safely and

efficiently without smoking, reducing the risk of

releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere...

New government legislation means that when we’re ready to

light our fires this year, we need to use wood that’s certified and

labelled as Ready to Burn. Ready to Burn woodfuel gives a better

burn because it’s proven to have a lower moisture content of up

to 20%, so it burns with less smoke than wetter wood, which in

turn also helps reduce pollution from burning.

Alternatively, if you use Manufactured Solid Fuel (MSF) - a fuel

manufactured from coal, wood, plant-derived materials, waxes or

petroleum products with other ingredients – these must also be

certified and labelled as Ready to Burn, proving that they meet

specified limits for smoke emissions and sulphur content.

The Ready to Burn certified fuel scheme is backed by Defra

which appointed the non-profit industry organisation HETAS

to certify Manufactured Solid Fuels (MSF) and its subsidiary

business, Woodsure, to certify woodfuel.

Helen Bentley Fox, Director at Woodsure, said: “Using fuel that’s

Ready to Burn will reduce particulate emissions and improve air

quality, these fuels will also burn more efficiently and are better

for your appliance and chimney, helping to reduce maintenance

and fuel costs.”

How to fuel a safe, efficient and

environmentally-responsible burn this autumn:

1. If you’re buying fuel for immediate use, look for the

Ready to Burn label. To find a trusted retailer visit

www.readytoburn.org or www.hetas.co.uk

2. If you buy a large amount of wood in bulk, suppliers selling

wood in over 2m3 must provide customers with advice on

how to store and season the fuel so that is it dry to burn

3. If you buy woodfuel from a small volume supplier (those

selling less than 600m3 in a year) they have until 30 April

2022 to comply with the new rules, so you’ll need to make

sure the wood is properly seasoned before you use it.

Advice on how to dry wet wood and measure moisture

content can be found on www.readytoburn.org

4. Around 40% of chimney fires take place between January

and March, reduce the risk by making sure your appliance

is regularly serviced and chimney is swept.

Find your local HETAS Registered professional at

www.hetas.co.uk

ADVERTISING FEATURE

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of the way, from visiting the site through to the design and installation

of your fireplace or stove. If convenience is important, many stoves

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mail@theale-fireplaces.co.uk | www.theale-fireplaces.co.uk

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 21


BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO

HISTORIC BUILDINGS

BRICKWORK & MASONRY

We specialise in the repair and restoration

of period and listed buildings.

Established for over thirty five years, we regularly

work with conservation architects, structural engineers

and organisations such as Natural England and SPAB.

ROOFING

Our portfolio ranges from large scale professionally

managed projects to domestic repair works.

CARPENTRY & JOINERY

info@dunneandco.co.uk

Telephone: 01491 598 898

dunneandco.co.uk


IT’S A

SUSTAINABLE HOUSING

DEVELOPMENT IN

GLOUCESTERSHIRE REACHES

KEY MILESTONE

GARDENERS’

WORLD

Adam Frost is an

award-winning British

garden designer,

television presenter and

motivational speaker.

Best known for his

successes at RHS Chelsea

Flower Show, he is

passionate about inspiring

adults and children

alike to create their

own gardens and watch

hedgerows spring to life.

Sally Thomson caught up

with him to discuss all

things green...

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT GEOFF

HAMILTON?

It was originally in North Devon Parks

department that I did my apprenticeship

and then I went to work for Geoff when I

was 21 years old and spent an amazing

mind blowing, not that I think you realise

it in your early 20s working 6-7 years with

Geoff until he passed away in 96.

AN INSPIRATIONAL MAN I SHOULD

IMAGINE?

Yes, looking back I don’t think you

realised what he was talking about, peat

free gardening, Organic gardening, stop

ripping up limestone pavements and

destroying the countryside all the things

that were way before their time really. We

are now 30 years on and we’ve only just

decided to ban peat. I think in reality he

set my gardening moral compass.

HIS SON HAS GONE INTO THE SAME

LINE OF WORK ALSO?

He had 3 sons but Nick the middle son

was left the garden and nursery, so he’s

got Barnsdale plants and gardens.

TELL ME HOW THE GARDENER’S

WORLD EVENT WENT AT BEAULIEU?

I had a lovely weekend! I’d be lying if I

didn’t say I was a bit nervous. I had just

had my 2nd injection It was the first time

I had done anything in a public arena for

about 18 months! You realise that all the

shows are now your general catch up.

WITH THE PANDEMIC DID YOU FIND

IT STRANGE NOT BEING OUT &

ABOUT WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

Definitely, We run a school as well so

we had to close that. I did some stuff on

zoom like most people but that’s a very

strange experience. I’ve never spent

so much time at home or in the garden

through the summer months with my wife

and kids which was a mixed blessing and

gave me time to stop which I don’t think

I’ve done since I was 16.

I BET YOU MISSED THE VIBE OF

BEING AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW?

I was due to go back and do a garden

in 2020 so that went but it looks we will

be able to go back in September and

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 23


do some filming but I’m not building

anything now.

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT BUILDING A

GARDEN FOR CHELSEA?

It can be 12 months to 2 years planning

but at one point I was doing them back to

back finishing one then moving straight

onto the next one. But it’s fascinating, it’s

how I built my career.

HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR

FIRST CHELSEA GOLD?

If I’m honest, I think I was slightly

oblivious to what they actually meant. My

dad was a landscaper and he built early

John Brooks gardens in the early 70s.

Recently I met Professor David Stevens,

garden designer, who also worked for

John Brooks. We were talking about

Chelsea and he said that my dad would

have been a few gardens along from

where we were. David also taught me a

lot about design in that sense.

WHEN YOU START A DESIGN IS IT

FROM A THOUGHT OR ARE YOU

PLANNING IT IN ADVANCE?

It depends on whether its for a client.

I think ultimately gardens are about 4

things; people, space, plants and place.

It’s normally one of those that I tap into

first and it might be a bit of landscape

it might be an individual picture I’ve

seen it might be the shape of something

whatever it is that gives me an insight

into a person or if it’s a show garden what

particular design will drive it that’s how I

start and then create from there.

DO YOU THINK BEAULIEU WILL BE A

REGULAR EVENT NOW?

I think so, I walked in and thought

what a glorious piece of landscape

and the moment I walked in the gate it

had a good feel. People really enjoyed

themselves and as a setting it had quite a

lovely intimate feel to it, even the stages

had an open canopy, and everybody

was sensible and had plenty of space.

The standard of the displays was really

good and Hilliers had gone there and

built a garden, so it was great that you

had something there of Hilliers quality. I

think a positive out of the last 15 months

is that people have slowed down have

connected or reconnected with what’s

outside their back door or in the area.

I’ve seen a report saying we now have

3 million new gardeners. Everybody

you talk to in the industry says that

the hunger from last year is still there

which is great. I just hope in a way that

stays. I think even the people that knew

gardening was good for you physically

and mentally, even for me I don’t think I

realised how important it was to my life.

I FIND IT VERY THERAPEUTIC AND

GOOD FOR THE SOUL

It’s interesting that we are seeing

statistics people moving out of cities

and into the countryside and are wanting

bigger gardens it wasn’t that long-ago

people were downsizing and didn’t want

a big outdoor space and this time has

now changed that.

I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE AN

RHS AMBASSADOR? WHAT DOES

THAT ENTAIL?

Yes, I’ve done that for quite a few years

now. Basically, I help them with stuff

looking at helping youngsters to engage

more through events and I did a lot

of work a while back with Homebase

creating apprenticeships so that’s how it

started. I also do a lot of community stuff

with RHS and I’m just about to start a

new project which I can’t say too much

about which will be good. I have travelled

all over to schools, events for them. I

was brought up just outside London and

wasn’t the best behaved, I’m dyslexic

and obviously I’ve done OK and I think

that’s why they wanted me to help.

YOU ARE AT THE NEC IN THE

SUMMER WHAT WILL THAT INVOLVE?

I normally go from stage to stage and

talk all things gardening and there’s

different themes on different stages from

talking about ‘Grow your Own’, ‘Unusual

edibles’, soil and compost so all sorts

really. What I love about that show is you

have the gardens and displays but it also

interlinks with food and because its at the

NEC if we do have poor weather people

can get inside. Because it’s such a large

venue everything will feel alright.

DO YOU DO ANY JUDGING IN YOUR

ROLE?

I’ve been asked, and I’ve done bits and

pieces, but I don’t really like to just turn

up and judge other people’s work.

SO, AT CHELSEA FOR EXAMPLE ARE

YOU THERE WHEN THE JUDGES

COME AROUND?

You have a 2 minute conversation the day

before to explain if anything has changed

or there have been any adjustments

to the design. They then arrive at your

garden anytime between 7:30am and

9:30am on the day and you must be away

from your garden. Then you have another

24 hours until you find out the result.

WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT

YOU HAD AN APTITUDE FOR

PRESENTING?

I don’t think I did really, I love what I do I

think it just happened. I was talking to a

Robert Hillier at Chelsea and I said “Can

you remember the conversation we had

in 2015 where you said the BBC want me

to do some presenting as they think I’m

half decent”. He said “Are you sure that’s

what you want to do?”. And I said “I don’t

know but I’ll give it a go!”. And here we

are now.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE OUR

READERS TO DO TO THEIR GARDENS

BEFORE AUTUMN?

Don’t disengage with the garden, I think

we get to September the kids go back to

school and people pack up their gardens.

I think our environment has changed so

much that you can’t month to month

garden anymore, you have to react to the

month you are in. September, October

and even going into November we can

still have some cracking days and only

have our first frosts going into December

so I would say to anybody there is so

much glorious flower colour foliage

colour stem colour to be had and the light

is different so the atmosphere is different

you can still wrap up and enjoy it just

don’t disengage. Don’t chase perfection

just enjoy the moments.

Adam Frost, along with other gardening

celebrities, will be appearing at the NEC

in Birmingham from Thursday August 26

to Sunday August 29.

For ticket information, please visit

www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com

24 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 25


ADVERTISING FEATURE

INTERVIEW:

NOVa fine arts...

We had a chat to Oliver Deeley, co-founder of

Nova Fine Art about art in general – and their

exciting new gallery in Marlborough.

You have existing galleries in Royal Leamington Spa and

Marlow, so what brings you to Marlborough?

We adore the area and of course, the exciting new additions to

Marlborough high street - just like us fearlessly independent.

Art is such a personal thing; some people may be

nervous about how to choose a work of art to live with –

what advice would you give to a first-time buyer?

Don’t be told what to buy just because it’s in fashion… just

like when you buy fine fragrance, buy emotivity and from

the heart.

You know all of your artists; this must give you a

unique prospective on their work and inspiration…

Absolutely!

And finally, what are you most looking forward to in

your new venture?

Continuing to disrupt the art market, it’s time for the little

guys to have their time.

Find out more at novafineart.com

Nova Fine Art is fast becoming the latest gallery network to rival the

large corporations on the high street. We combine experience of

buying, selling and creating artwork so our approach is a holistic one

and we are committed to integrity, fairness & professionalism in all

our dealings with our clients, creators & colleagues alike.

Very much a family run and passion lead business, Marlborough is the

third addition to our bricks and mortar offering, along with our superb

website. Just as our name suggests, we are continually looking at ways

to keep our gallery walls fresh, cutting edge and exciting.

Join the team at any of our locations, Royal Leamington Spa, Marlow & Marlborough

to discover it for yourself or get in touch contact@novafinart.com

Please contact us for more information:

110 Warwick Street, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4QP • 01926 298 110

79 Hight Street, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1AB • 01628 563 801

137 High Street Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1HN • 01672 555810

Instagram @novafineartofficial • www.novafineart.com

26 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


ADVERTISING FEATURE

GIVE A GIFT

that means a little more

special

auction

services...

The period of lockdown has probably given

many of us the opportunity to explore

the furthest recessed of our attics. If the

experience was anything like mine the

finds would probably be limited to cobwebs,

spiders (big spiders) and boxes of old

curtains – but I did find a lovely Victorian

parasol too! Whatever you found we know

a man who will know its value, I had a chat

to Thomas of Special Auction Services about

his TV experiences and the joys of running

an auction house during lockdown - and

exciting times ahead…

sustainable, wellness-based

gift boxes - customisable and

beautiful, from £10

available from hauslife.co.uk

TV programmes about auctions and auctioneers seem to have

an enthusiastic and continuing following – how did you first get

in front of the camera as opposed to behind the rostrum?

I was asked many moons ago by my manager back in 2000 if I

wanted to be the auctioneer on a new show called Bargain Hunt

with David Dickenson. I bought a new suit, shirt and tie and thought I

looked the business, however then David walked in looking amazing!

I can’t watch those four shows back again, I was so rude about the

teams buys but in hindsight they were actually very good. After that I

was asked to be an expert, so the rest is history.

The past year has been very difficult for so many businesses,

how have you overcome the challenges?

They have been difficult - we’ve had to rearrange the saleroom to

put in screens for live online bidding and take other precautions. The

positives have been huge as it has been an opportunity to open out

to a much wider audience. Auctions can now be viewed in person up

to a week, and sometime as much as two weeks, before to give all

our client space and time to look at all of the lots.

We are happy to welcome buyers to come back to the auctions,

however, at the moment we are still politely asking buyers to bid from

home while the virus is still present.

Servicing & mechanical repairs

Diagnostics

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We have been carrying out lots of remote online valuations over zoom

and WhatsApp or simply via phone calls. We are now happy to see

clients in our saleroom for valuations but we do ask clients to make

an appointment – Wednesdays in Newbury and Thursdays in Dudley

What is the hottest item in the saleroom currently?

Items which are hot are the really unusual ones.... we have the most

fabulous French gold and steel miniature musical sewing clamp

circa 1820 from Paris which is just an amazing piece. We also have

fabulous collectibles such as a fighter jet seat..... the list goes on.

You have had so many amazing items under your gavel – what

one thing would you have like to keep, might it be that Indiana

Jones hat?

It has to be that! To be honest its the reason I became an auctioneer.

Indiana Jones was my boyhood hero and that hat was just so special.

And finally, as we come out of lockdown what are you most

looking forward to for Special Auction Services?

To be honest just seeing our clients for valuations and doing what we

do best and helping those clients who need us.

www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 27


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WEEDS The beauty and use of 50 vagabond plants - by Gareth Richards

Weeds are nature’s first responders, healing the wounds that man

inflicts upon the earth. They valiantly bring life back into even the

most polluted land, pushing green shoots of raw ecological power

through tarmac and concrete on abandoned sites.

The cheerful daisy in the pavement crack - or even, dare it be said,

the buddleia that turns derelict buildings into butterfly havens.

Countless plants that we dismiss as weeds have amazing powers.

Every weed has some redeeming qualities.

When the chips are down, weeds come to the rescue. You cut

yourself miles from home on a country walk, there are several

weeds you can reach for to help stop the bleeding - and they even

have antibacterial properties too. We might have lost much of our

countryside but a select band of plants paint the grey concrete

green again. They are a defiant echo of the wild.

In an age of extinctions, weeds offer hope: their very existence is

continual proof of nature’s resilience. Yet we are so often blind to

their beauty. “The notion that a plant is a weed is the most effective

barrier for stopping us looking at it closely” wrote acclaimed

naturalist Richard Mabey first published almost 50 years ago.

Does being native matter? Our perceptions are very much a

question of time: many of our most-loved wildflowers such as

field poppies and cornflowers are technically just as ‘non-native’

as Japanese knotweed, yet because they’ve been here for many

hundreds of years we’ve grown to appreciate and even love them.

Pinning down the native ranges of weeds is a tricky business. Often

they’ve been around mankind for so long that their precise origins

are unknown. Furthermore, the ever-accelerating rate of climate

change means that in Britain our definition of native and nonnative

(one that seeks to freeze our flora into what it was like many

thousands of years ago) is looking more irrelevant by the day.

Only humans make

weeds. Nature abhors

a vacuum. Bare soil

exists rarely in nature,

yet we strive to create

it by ploughing,

digging our gardens

and constructing

buildings and roads.

If we hadn’t created

these ecological

vacuums, these

empty spaces,

there wouldn’t be

nearly so many

weeds. They are

simply trying to

heal our scars on

Mother Nature’s

green skin.

About the

Author:

Gareth Richards is

Digital Features Editor at RHS

and delivers the RHS podcast. Gareth has provided

horticulture expertise for a leading nursery, the BBC, ITV and Bauer

Media.

The Royal Horticultural Society is Britain’s premier gardening charity,

promoting horticulture and helping gardeners by providing inspiration

through its shows, gardens and expertise.

RHS Weeds - The Beauty and use of 50 vagabond plants is

published by Welbeck

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www.minervamagazines.co.uk | 29


RETIREMENT

PLANNING:

A GUIDE

Katie Thomson shares tips

for getting your financial

ducks in a row for a happy

retirement...

Retirement planning is a multi-faceted

process which evolves over time - to

have a comfortable and secure future,

you have to have the means to fund

it. Fewer people have access to the

guaranteed income that comes with a

final salary pension, and with longer to

wait until eligibility for the state pension,

it’s pertinent to start planning as early as

possible for the retirement you want. The

better prepared you are now, the better

your retirement will be.

There are many strands to retirement

planning, and much of it depends on

your stage of life. It’s important to seek

advice from a registered financial planner

who can help you make the most of your

unique circumstances.

There are some handy way points to help

you get a grasp on where you are and

what you will need - here’s a checklist of

things to consider:

Understand what your retirement

income is likely to be:

You will be adding to your pension fund

during your working life, but it’s important

you get a handle on your various pension

pots to forecast the actual figure you will

have access to.

Check your state pension:

The rising state pension age can have a

real knock-on effect to your retirement

planning - a state pension forecast will

help you to gauge how much you’re on

course to get from the government.

Get an understanding of your

expenditure:

Having an idea of your expenditure will

help you plan longer-term. Your living

costs are likely to be a lot lower than

in other phases of life - you might be

mortgage-free and you don’t have the

same costs for commuting, recreation or

childcare for example.

You may wish to improve your home

or go on some amazing trips, so it’s

important you know you have the

financial reserves to do this.

When should you start drawing a

pension?

You don’t have to stop working to draw

down your pension - as long as you

are over the age of 55 - but be aware,

the sooner you start dipping into it, the

sooner the pot will deplete.

How much will retirement cost?

This is the golden question, and really

depends on the level of comfort or luxury

you are looking for in your autumn years.

A recent Which? study found that the

average retired household (those living

alone or as couples) spent an around

£2,170 per month - this is covering all

the basic areas of expenditure and some

luxuries like European holidays. Those

looking for a more luxurious lifestyle

including longer-haul trips and new cars

every five years would need to allow

for approximately £3,400 per month, or

£41,000 per year.

Once you have a framework for the

amount you’ll need, and what you are

on track for saving, you also need to

consider how you will access your

pension pots - these might be state

pension, a final salary pension and a

money purchase/defined contribution

pension.

With your defined contribution pot,

such as the one you might get in the

government employee scheme, you can

draw the entire pension pot in one go,

but this will mean it’s entirely down to

you to make the money last and you’ll

invariably pay a substantial tax bill. Most

people with these pensions will opt for

income drawdown or an annuity, or a

combination of both when it comes

taking money out of their pension.

With careful planning and accurate

forecasting, your retirement can be

something to really look forward to, but

it is essential to make an assessment of

your position as early as possible and

use the advice of experts to make your

money work harder for you.

30 | www.minervamagazines.co.uk


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